Can you imagine leaving your friends and family forever and never coming back? Living in isolation, an environment completely unknown to you with just a remote possibility of you surviving. I don’t know about you but I get petrified when I even think about the possibility.
But as Dumbledore famously said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to face it.” Maybe that’s what separates normal, ordinary people from the great ones.
When the Mars One mission was made public, around 20,000+ people applied for it proving that there are great people everywhere and not just in the history books or newspapers. I applaud them for their courage to apply for this mission knowing that they will never be coming to earth if they get selected.
The results of the Round Three, Mars One (a project that aims to set up a human colony on Mars) Astronaut Selection Process has been declared and among 100 hopefuls have been shortlisted. The breakup has 50 women and 50 men with 39 from America, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, 7 from Africa and 7 from Oceania.
The 16 people from Asia include 3 Indian candidates. A 29-year old Taranjeet Singh Bhatia, who is studying Doctorate in Computer Science at the University of Central Florida. A Ritika Singh, 29, who lives in Dubai and a 19-year old Shradha Prasad from Kerala.
The second round of application process saw 44 shortlisted Indians, 27 men and 17 women (including one girl from my college, MKSSS’S CCOEW, Pune).
The third round saw them selecting 100 candidates from a pool of 660 after they participated in personal online interviews with Norbert Kraft, the Chief Medical Officer. During the interview, the candidates had a chance to show their understanding of the risks involved, team spirit and their motivation to be part of the life changing expedition.
The next selection rounds will focus on forming teams that can face the hardships of forming settlements on Mars. The candidates will receive their first shot at training in the copy of the Mars Outpost on Earth and will demonstrate their ability to perform well in a team.
After the selection process has been completed, 40 finalists will be chosen. They will be given rigorous training for seven years so that they have the chance to survive as long as they can in rough conditions. The candidates will be sent to Mars in a team of 4 by 2024.